Seems like this post didn't go through, so I'll resend it:
> Date: Wed, 19 Aug 2009 13:21:19 -0700
> Subject: Re: Emulation and Stuff
> From: peterdjo...@yahoo.com
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> On 19 Aug, 13:03, David Nyman <david.ny...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > 009/8/19 Flammarion <peterdjo...@yahoo.com>:
> > >> I completely agree that **assuming primary matter** computation is "a
> > >> physical process taking place in brains and computer hardware". The
> > >> paraphrase argument - the one you said you agreed with - asserts that
> > >> *any* human concept is *eliminable*
> > > No, reducible, not eliminable. That is an important distinction.
> > Not in this instance. The whole thrust of the paraphrase argument is
> > precisely to show - in principle at least - that the reduced concept
> > can be *eliminated* from the explanation. You can do this with
> > 'life', so you should be prepared to do it with 'computation'.
> Showing that a word can be removed from a verbal formulation
> by substitution with s synonym is not *ontological* elimination.
Of course it is--*according to the Quinean definition of ontology*. The strange
thing about your mode of argument is that you talk as though a word like
"existence" has some single true correct meaning, and that anyone who uses it
differently is just wrong--do you disagree with the basic premise that the
meaning of words is defined solely by usage and/or definitions? If so, do you
agree that there are in fact different ways the word "existence" is defined by
real people, even if we restrict our attention to the philosophical community?
Provided you agree with that, your posts would be a lot less confusing if you
would distinguish between different definitions and state which one you meant
at a given time--for example, one might say "I agree numbers have Quinean
existence but I think they lack material existence, or existence in the sense
that intelligent beings that appear in mathematical universes are actually
conscious beings with their own qualia". We might call these three notions of
existence Q-existence, M-existence and C-existence for short. My argument with
you has been that even if one wishes to postulate a single universe,
M-existence is an unnecessary middleman and doesn't even seem well-defined, all
we need to do is postulate that out of all the mathematically possible
universes that have Q-existence, only one has C-existence.
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